Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Health and Capacity to Work of Older Canadians: Gender and Regional Dimensions

Document type Article
Author Milligan, Kevin
Author Schirle, Tammy
Journal Canadian Public Policy
Volume 44
Date 2018 June
ISSN 0317-0861, 1911-9917
Pages 159-172


We address health capacity to work among older Canadian workers with a specific focus on differences by gender and region. We find that in 2012 men would have needed to work more than five additional years between ages 55 and 69 to keep pace with how much men worked in 1976, holding health capacity constant. For working women, the comparable result is only two years more work. Most of these gaps arose before the mid-1990s; since then, employment advances have offset mortality improvements. Regionally, more than half the Ontario–Atlantic employment difference among older men is rooted in health differences.